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Ok, there's another, non-horror story I'm working on right now (in addition to having a job and a life) before I tackle another pasta, but I have two ideas I'm debating for my next attempt. One of them is a sort-of sequel to In the Circle (I understand I'm allowed to do spin-offs to my own work), but I'm a little concerned the idea just isn't all that scary.
The other one, which I want an opinion on, interests me, but I'm a bit concerned its too generic as a "cursed artifact" story, with just a conspiracy tacked on.
The basic premise is this: the gun we think killed Abraham Lincoln wasn't the real one. Because the Secret Service (assuming it would have been them, I'll try to do some research on history and firearms for this) couldn't find the actual gun, they found out Booth had been the killer, broke into his home (kind of an obvious part of the investigation anyway), took another gun he owned, planted it, and switched out the bullet to match. They also removed several pages from his diary, in which he mentions the actual gun.
The real gun was actually a much older pistol, dating back to the time of the Revolution (it was bulkier, but Booth knew as a celebrity he wasn't going to have trouble getting past the guards, so he just barely had to conceal it behind his jacket. Booth believed the gun he was using to have been used by General Washington to execute deserters at Valley Forge (the narrator basically calls booth naive for this, and says that Washington wouldn't have wasted the ammo, when he had perfectly good ropes). This facet of the story is intended to make the curse somewhat ambiguous: is the gun cursed because it was used to shoot Lincoln, because it was stolen afterwards, or was it used to shoot Lincoln because it was already cursed (since we don't know its origin).
When Booth jumped from the balcony, he dropped the gun into the audience, and (supposedly) a man named Wade McAlister grabbed it, realizing (while everyone else was panicking) that he'd just witnessed history in the making, and taken a piece of it for himself.
Shortly afterwards McAlister got drunk, and admitted at a bar what he did. He was arrested, but since no one wanted to admit they falsified evidence, they let him plead guilty to purgery, falsely claiming he stole the gun, and paying a fine.
After he died, shortly afterwards, his widow sold it. Officially it fetched a high price because "the hoax was so well known." Unofficially, very few people ever heard of the hoax, and both his wife and the man who bought the pistol fully believed it to be the gun that shot Lincoln, they just obviously couldn't say that publicly without it being confiscated.
From there the story would basically cover the remaining history of the gun, with every owner dying shortly after acquiring it, and multiple owners using it for suicide.
So, is this too generic of a "cursed artifact, everyone who owns it dies" story?